54 Cambridge, United States
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My self-summary

Here's the thing: I'm super-independent, and I have a life I absolutely love, full of making poems and enjoying my three pets in my single-family house in Cambridge. Since I am coming back from a near-fatal illness, non-work things like working out and making/eating super-healthy (yummy) food, and time with art or friends (or preferably, both) take up my time. I'm totally content...but these days I'm feeling a little too...controlled and self-contained. I love my Buddhist practice, but I sometimes miss my old, wild-girl spontaneity. Have been married, but haven't been in a LTR in a while. I miss the intimacy, the inside jokes, the regular sex, the sanctuary of silliness. Make me laugh and I'll follow you anywhere; I can provide much of the same (though you sure as shit can't tell it from this paragraph!). I love long complicated debates about anything from lefty politics, to music of ANY kind or date, to why there are six parallel universes, or the difference between soul and self. See: even this is far more serious than I'd like to be, in early August. Take me dancing, let's go see a matinee, I'm up for anything. I suppose that flings only lasting until fall, are perfectly long as nothing's too crash-and-burn.

I am present, friendly, and curious
What I’m doing with my life
I'm a full-time freelance writer, mostly poetry and creative non-fiction. I also mentor girls and young women; I still keep a fairly regular gig as a consultant to non-profits; I've been one kind of community organizer or another, since I was 17 (I'm a 4th-generation pinko lefty activist), so I like to keep my hand in that pot.

I have to spend 1-3 hours a day in the gym, to bounce back from the bad illness, but I actually love doing it; nothing better than being too pooped to be neurotic! I do a combination of something cardio, lifting weights and, always, yoga. On weekends I'm outside, sharing my workout with Annie the Wonder Dog (who only cooperates if I call her Gwen Stefani, I kid you not). Health-wise, I'm about 95% recovered from the illness, and about 60% back to the old me.

My days are as I plan them, since I work at home. I usually write from 5 am to noon, then hit the gym, then back to do more work, chill with the TV or a book, or go to hear live music and/or see friends. I work hard on my friendships; I manage to fit in a pretty informal but important meditation practice where I can.

Since my biggest career success was as a performance artist, I'm working hard to return to that. I loved touring around the country with my work, and competing in poetry slams at the national level (in '97, I ranked 8th in the whole country).

I like the balance of making art and making social change. I've worked for 14 years to strike this balance, and it means a lot to me...but you could happily distract me, if you really had a mind to...and, given the right circumstances, I'm definitely up for another LTR, if it comes my way; I'd be thrilled if caring for a good relationship, was something I was doing with my life.
I’m really good at
The list is as eclectic as I am...writing poetry, playing the piano, speaking Spanish, running support groups for teen girls, where I tell them subversive things like that they have just as much right to their own pleasure as their partners do; you can't believe how forbidden this news is, apparently! I'm an ex-dancer, so I can definitely hold my own on the dance-floor and love to dance, in gay bars more than straight ones. For better or for worse, I'm way too fluent in the language of human anatomy, and obscure facts about medicine. While I'm not so good at telling a pre-fab joke, I'm actually quite funny, enough to have earned a few paychecks from writing comedy. Can cook my ass off, if the right ingredients are within reach. Since I spent 8 years working in the very rural, very poor, very Black South, I can speak in dialects you didn't even know existed in the USA, and I know how to heal a cut without leaving a scar, by covering it with a spiderweb and turpentine.
The first things people usually notice about me
--My very bright red hair, which is not courtesy of God but of my hairdresser, Arthur. We figure God meant to make me a redhead but forgot when I was on the assembly line, so we just correct God every five weeks.

(please note: I only call God God, and not "He" or "She." I have no idea what God is, except, um, God.)

--My smile is large and wonderfully frequent, as is my laugh, which is a good, loud, and infectious one.

--If I'm tipsy, or if you also have a Southern accent, then you'll hear me drawl. Otherwise, I've learned to hide it up here, where people seem to think that Southern = really fuckin' dumb. It don't mean that...
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
books: "Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats"; "The Midnight Disease," about the brain science behind writing; "In the Lake of the Woods," which gets my vote for Best 20th Century US Novel. Favorite poets include Sharon Olds (with whom I studied this spring), Greg Delanty, Milton, Neruda, Li-Young Lee, and Yusef Komunyakaa, my first teacher.

movies: "Whale Rider," "Notorious," "Memento," "Ray." see: eclectic!

music: Oh, where do I begin?! I can tolerate absollutely anything for 7 minutes, including even death metal if I really have to. Madrigals to Mahler to Mahalia, Zero 7 to MC5, and so on. Lately I'm back into cool jazz and TONS of blues. Boston is actually a pretty great town for blues...and trust me, I don't pay Boston compliments too often.

foods: am on a healthy diet now, mostly raw or whole stuff. When I cook now, it's either Asian or Middle Eastern. But I can cook Southern 'til you cry into your cornbread, or French until you plead for bigger pants, or Italian until you burst into an aria. I was married to an Argentine, so I have a love/hate thing for red meat. Frankly, if I had my druthers and food wasn't about nutrition or cholesterol or any of those things, I'd go right back to Peach, Georgia where my friend Vera makes the best fried eggs, in bacon grease (of course), fried green tomatoes, and beaten biscuits...and then she'd slip me a little bit of pie, if I hadn't already exploded.
The six things I could never do without
--a really fun car that can go as fast as I need it to sometimes, fits into barely legal spaces in Harvard Square...and DEFINITELY stick-shift (am about to switch from Turbo Beetle to super-tuned Mini Cooper: whoo!)

--that one triple-espresso latte in the morning

--a quote from Goethe, which I take absolutely everywhere I go, and apply to anything I do: "At the moment of commitment, the universe conspires to assist you." It does...

--my animals: I so love to get the perspective (and humor) of living low to the ground, having a tail, and having one's ears capable of swiveling

--at least one good belly-laugh a day

--a packed suitcase, for when I need to bust outta here

(since I think "my health" goes without saying, I'm not really saying it here, and thus not going over the magic number of 6: gotcha!
I spend a lot of time thinking about
why art? how art? what kind of art? if art?

how i can affect [[world change, ten minutes at a time if that's all the time I have

why I've chosen not to be in a relationship for three years

(I dare say, after three years alone, i spend a good amount of time, thinking: WHEN'S THE NEXT SEX?)
On a typical Friday night I am
Without fail, for the last three years (not counting summers), from 5-11 pm, I am leading a meeting of the Fuzzy Chix, which is the name of the main support group for teen girls in my life. Consequently, on a typical Friday night, I am very happily handing out condoms, showing off a vibrator like I'm Carol Marol (sp?), discussing Doug vs. Tommy vs. Gil (vs. Jeannette in one girl's case), participating in a weekly burping slam, occasionally reluctantly watching "Mona Lisa Smile" again and pleading with the girls to stop calling me Julia Roberts...and mostly, feeling incredibly honored to be privy to such high-caliber secrets and ideas.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I've had affairs with women, one of which was stupendously great, however doomed.
You should message me if
you want to go see/hear/admire something art-related, but you don't wanna go all by yourself, and/or you'd like someone to debrief with, afterwards.

you're a big proponent of compassion

you love the sound of a pretty voice

you care about healing some part of the world, however small, and you need some advice or a pep talk

you like long e-mails

you're good at paying attention to a woman

you love to flirt and be flirted with

you love poetry or words

you're into my red hair

you like personal space too

you have stuff on your walls that someone made by hand; no thanks to posters from college or framed stuff bought at the Coop

you like chicks with an edge

you're into Southern culture, especially of the African-American variety

you ride a sport-bike or racing motorcycle (i used to, and can still talk about wrenching pretty happily)

you get the words from Whitman, which apply to me: "do I contradict myself? very well then: I contradict myself. (I am large; I contain multitudes.)